Kitchen Confidential: Adventures in the Culinary Underbelly
Bourdain spares no one's appetite when he told all about what happens behind the kitchen door. Bourdain uses the same "take-no-prisoners" attitude in his deliciously funny and shockingly delectable book, sure to delight gourmands and philistines alike. From Bourdain's first oyster in the Gironde, to his lowly position as dishwasher in a honky tonk fish restaurant in Provincetown (where he witnesses for the first time the real delights of being a chef); from the kitchen of the Rainbow Room atop Rockefeller Center, to drug dealers in the east village, from Tokyo to Paris and back to New York again, Bourdain's tales of the kitchen are as passionate as they are unpredictable.
Diandra says: Kitchen Confidential gives a behind the scenes look into the world of professional cooking. As someone whose TV has rarely left the Food Network Channel latey, I found this biography to be exceptionally entertaining. It was fascinating to learn the ins and outs of the culinary industry and see what it's like to come up the ranks.
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Dog On It
Meet Chet, the wise and lovable canine narrator of Dog on It, who works alongside Bernie, a down-on-his-luck private investigator. Chet might have flunked out of police school, but he's a detective through and through. In this, their first adventure, Chet and Bernie investigate the disappearance of Madison, a teenage girl who may or may not have been kidnapped, but who has definitely gotten mixed up with some very unsavory characters. A well-behaved, gifted student, she didn't arrive home after school and her divorced mother is frantic. Bernie is quick to take the case-something about a cash flow problem that Chet's not all that clear about-and he's relieved, if vaguely suspicious, when Madison turns up unharmed with a story that doesn't add up. But when she disappears for a second time in a week, Bernie and Chet aren't taking any chances; they launch a full-blown investigation. Without a ransom demand, they're not convinced it's a kidnapping, but they are sure of one thing: something smells funny.
Donna Says: Bernie Little is an ex-cop turned private investigator. His exuberant and loyal canine partner, Chet, failed K-9 school but he makes a great detective when focused on the job at hand. Unfortunately, it's a struggle to keep him focused. There are too many fallen bits of bacon, forgotten Cheetos, and other distractions competing with Bernie's instructions. The tenth book in the series, Of Mutts and Men should be published in July, so you have time to become acquainted with these crime busters before the next big adventure.
Donna's Past Staff Picks
Midnight in Chernobyl
April 25, 1986, in Chernobyl, was a turning point in world history. The disaster not only changed the world’s perception of nuclear power and the science that spawned it, but also our understanding of the planet’s delicate ecology. With the images of the abandoned homes and playgrounds beyond the barbed wire of the 30-kilometer Exclusion Zone. Chernobyl was also a key event in the destruction of the Soviet Union, and, with it, the United States’ victory in the Cold War. The full story of the events that started that night in the control room of Reactor No.4 of the V.I. Lenin Nuclear Power Plant has never been told. Through two decades of reporting, new archival information, and firsthand interviews with witnesses, journalist Adam Higginbotham tells the full dramatic story.
Elizabeth Says: Detailed and engrossing Midnight in Chernobyl is the definitive story of the disaster that changed the world. Also if you haven't already please check out the 2019 HBO miniseries Chernobyl. Perfect for the Read More 2020 category Biological Disaster.
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Dior and I
Frédéric Tcheng's solo directorial debut brings the viewer inside the storied world of the Christian Dior fashion house with a privileged, behind-the-scenes look at the creation of Raf Simons' first haute couture collection as its new artistic director-a true labor of love created by a dedicated group of collaborators. Melding the everyday, pressure-filled components of fashion with mysterious echoes from the iconic brand's past, the film is also a colorful homage to the seamstresses who serve Simons' vision.
Megan Says: Gorgeous, gorgeous, simply gorgeous! If you love art, if you love fashion, then you must see this film.
Megan's Past Staff Picks
Tsugumi Kawana reunites with her first crush from high school, Itsuki Ayukawa, at a get-together with an architecture firm and the interior design company she works at. He sends her heart aflutter until she realizes he's now disabled, and in a wheelchair. At first, she feels she couldn't date a guy in a wheelchair, but then her feelings begin to change.
Nina says: This award-winning serialized graphic novel, available in print or ebook, deftly explores what life can be like for someone with a permanent spinal cord injury and for those who love them. Aruga doesn’t shy away from the flaws in all of us and creates a pair you’ll be rooting for all the way.
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21 Lessons for the 21st Century
Yuval N. Harari
How do computers and robots change the meaning of being human? How do we deal with the epidemic of fake news? Are nations and religions still relevant? What should we teach our children? Yuval Noah Harari's 21 Lessons for the 21st Century is a probing and visionary investigation into today's most urgent issues as we move into the uncharted territory of the future. As technology advances faster than our understanding of it, hacking becomes a tactic of war, and the world feels more polarized than ever, Harari addresses the challenge of navigating life in the face of constant and disorienting change and raises the important questions we need to ask ourselves in order to survive.
Randall says: Over the course of twenty-one chapters, Harari surveys the challenges facing humanity today, from our reliance on computer algorithms to growing political instability. Highly recommended.
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Mad Men shows you 1960s New York through the eyes of those who work at Sterling Cooper, a small ad agency on Madison Avenue. The story focuses on Don Draper, the creative executive with as many vices as virtues, as he contends with his past and its subsequent consequences. The first season won numerous awards, including Emmy Awards, Golden Globes, Screen Actors Guild awards, and more.
Swaneet says: There are few shows where not a moment is wasted, and Mad Men is one of them. Each frame of this masterful series is worth your attention, each line of dialogue worth parsing. I've seen the entire seven seasons about three times now, and I intend to continue rewatching. Mad Men ushered us into this golden age of television, and no programs now can claim severance from its influence. If you're a fan of Breaking Bad, the Sopranos, or the West Wing, you'll enjoy your time with the mysterious and handsome Don Draper.
Swaneet's Past Staff Picks